Making Your New Year Resolutions Work

Here I am again at the end of the year contemplating what has been, and what may appear in 2012. This year has a particular poignancy for me as I was unexpectedly taken ill in July and spent 3 months in hospital. In fact, I am blessed to be alive at all.

Certainly, since I have had five months taken out of my business life, it is true to say that I have not met some of my key business resolutions from last year – and not all the positive thinking in the world is going to change that. So, why bother to make fresh New Year Resolutions – after all, I – you – we could all be dead before we can implement anything; and isn’t 2012 the year in which Mayan prophecy predicted the end of the world?

Shrugging aside pessimism and despair, let us ask, New Year’s Resolutions – do they work? Are you setting yourself a New Year’s Resolution this year? Will this be a positive boost to you in 2012 or will you find your resolution starts well and fizzles after a week or two?

What has been your experience in previous years? How well are you setting yourself up for success when you create your New Year’s resolutions?

I think New Year’s resolutions are imperfect, but not having resolutions is worse. As Brian 2022 Videos Tracy says, they are conscious decisions – and this can frighten and paralyse us at a sub-conscious level.

Two approaches to this may help. One is the simple substitution of the word ‘intention’ for resolution. Let’s make intentions as these are a lot less frightening, and don’t create that same onerous sense of commitment – and hence potential failure.

The second idea is to use the well-known Kaizen technique, which is really incredibly powerful. When we make resolutions, because they are Resolutions, on New Year’s Eve – notice all the capitals – they tend to be big (to lose a stone, make a million) or absolute (stop drinking altogether), and this too disturbs us.

Kaizen technique replaces all this angst by asking the simple question: what is the smallest possible step I could take towards my destination? Do that for as long as it comfortable. Then, increase – do more – at that point. So, for example, instead of resolving to lose a stone in weight, the kaizen might be: to climb one flight of stairs to my office every day/once a week instead of using the lift all the way.

Finally, to do anything new one should consider, what then do I stop doing? And that leads on to – what do I do more of and what should I do less of? Finally, there are some things which are just fine – and I need to continue doing them just as I always have. I call this process the Stop-Start Review and it is an ideal way to help people get a handle on controlling their time and their priorities.

For me then, as I trust for you, 2012 is a year of hope and opportunity. I have made six resolutions – intentions – for the year in discussion with my family, and I intend to ‘kaizen’ all of them. I hope this time next year to be able to tell you that I have achieved them all. So please accept my best wishes to you all and your intentions for 2012!


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